Sector enjoys marriage boom
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
A young couple cuts the wedding cake in this file photo. Some 650,000 Turkish couples marry every year.The growing number of marriages in Turkey promises big profits this year for some 20 related sectors on the eve of peak wedding season, according to professionals.
The number of companies offering turn-key wedding ceremonies has already jumped to about 300 from a mere 50 only a few years ago as some 650,000 couples say “I do” every year.
Professionals also expect a 15 percent rise in this figure this year.
Although there is no concrete data on the volume of the whole “wedding economy” in Turkey, Istanbul is the city that holds the second-largest number of weddings after Las Vegas, according to Meltem Tepeler, the founding chairperson of the Creative Events Planning and Implementing Association (YAPED).
The country hosts some 500 international weddings annually, Tepeler told Anatolia news agency in a recent interview.
Couples from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Azerbaijan and Russia show the most interest in weddings in Turkey, she added.
The volume of the wedding organizing business is around $200 million, she said. The global figure stands at $165 billion, according to her. The U.S. market has a $90 billion share in total.
Mustafa Akay, the owner of a famous local bridal gown maker, said he expected a 15 percent increase in weddings this year due to the economic stability in the country. Bridal gowns cost usually between 1,000 Turkish Liras and 4,000 liras. Istanbul hosts up to 120,000 weddings every year. Turkish people spend $195 million on wedding gowns each year, he told Anatolia news agency.
Photographers take between 3,000 and 6,000 photos during a single ceremony, said photographer Bülent Ulucay, who has been in the business for 34 years.
The prices range between 2,000 and 5,000 liras. However, some amateurs will do it for as little as 350 liras. It takes up to three months to prepare a professional wedding album, Uluçay also noted.
Mehmet Ali Yıldırımtürk, a jeweler at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, said gold prices have decreased by 20 percent since September 2011. Therefore, a quarter gold coin, a gram loca, now sells for 150 liras, down from 180 liras, so consumers are now preferring to buy a quarter gold coin, which is 0.75 grams heavier than the 1 gram, 22 carat alternative.
Yıldırımtürk added that gold sales have increased a bit since the wedding season is approaching. He also stressed that as the demand for gold increases, the gold mint, which is usually able to print gold in two days, may experience an additional two to three-day delay, which in turn can be reflected as a price increase in gold.
And the flowers...
This year’s popular wedding flower is hydrangeas, said Recep Gedik, president of the Interflora Florists Association. Purple is the iconic color, he said.
Decorating a hall for a wedding ceremony usually costs between 12,000 and 15,000 liras, he said. The cost rises for larger halls. Flowers for each table at a wedding cost between 100 liras and 350 liras, Gedik said.
“[Flower] prices vary globally in accordance with consumption,” he also said. “The spending on flowers per person in Europe is around $100 annually. The figure is $3 or $4 in Turkey.”